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'Safe' doses of sugar still toxic to mice: Are you dying a 'sweet death?'

Friday, September 27, 2013 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: sugar, safe doses, toxic effects

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(NaturalNews) Eating a mostly healthy diet but still consuming what the government says are "safe" levels of processed sugar -- that is, a few sugar-added beverages here and there and an occasional dessert in "moderation" -- is still a recipe for early death, or at the very least some serious chronic health problems, according to a new study out of the University of Utah. Researchers there found that consuming the equivalent of just three cans of soda pop daily on top of an otherwise healthy diet can lead to major reproductive problems, birth defects and potentially even double a person's risk of dying early.

Published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications, this shocking new study evaluated the effects of sugar intake on several groups of mice placed into separate room-sized "pens" stocked with varying combinations of food. The mice were given access to a diet composed of 75 percent "healthy" food high in vitamins and minerals and free of added sugar and either 25 percent sugar-added foods as the test or 25 percent corn-starch based carbohydrates as the control. The 25 percent variation reflects the National Research Council's recommendation that no more than 25 percent of a person's caloric intake be composed of added sugar.

Both groups of mice were closely monitored in their respective pens for any behavioral or health variances that might manifest as a result of the dietary variations, and it turns out that there were many. At the end of 32 weeks, the mice, half of which were male and half of which were female in both groups, experienced vastly different outcomes. More than twice the number of sugar-fed females died compared to the control-fed females, and sugar-fed males were found to hold 26 percent fewer territories compared to control-fed males.

Additionally, sugar-fed males were found to produce 25 percent fewer offspring than control-fed males, while sugar-fed females ultimately had lower reproductive rates compared to control-fed females. Even more disturbing is the fact that the 25 percent added-sugar diet was found to be equally as harmful to the mice overall as if they had been the inbred offspring of their relative first cousins mating, a repugnant finding that proves just how harmful processed sugar intake can be on the body.

"Our results provide evidence that added sugar consumed at concentrations currently considered safe exerts dramatic adverse impacts on mammalian health," wrote the researchers, noting that the mice used are an excellent mammal choice to model human dietary issues. "We have shown that levels of sugar that people typically consume -- and that are considered safe by regulatory agencies -- impair the health of mice," added Dr. James Ruff, Ph.D., the study's primary author.

More toxicity tests utilizing latest analysis techniques necessary for public safety, say researchers

Funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, this thorough toxicity analysis is a rarity in the scientific world, particularly due to the fact that most of the conventional testing methods still used by scientists today are unable to pinpoint the adverse outcomes of an added-sugar diet. This makes these new findings even more concerning, as there are likely many other substances out there that are causing similar health damage.

"You have to ask why we didn't discover them 20 years ago," commented Professor Wayne Potts, another of the study's senior authors, about the findings. "The answer is that until now, we haven't had a functional, broad and sensitive test to screen the potential toxic substances that are being released into the environment or in our drugs or our food supply."

To review a full analysis of this latest study, visit:

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